• Lekiesha Black

Navigating Wineries

This month as we “Wine Down” I think it’s important that I introduce you all to my favorite wine app, VinoWine (Located in the App Store or Google Play).  This app will be the key to your life and will open unlimited wine doors for you especially if you want to learn to enjoy wines and to broaden your palate.  As stated in last months blog, Cheers!, It is important to try different wines on occasions and to try them over and over again.

The best way to do this is by going to wineries.  Wineries are very inexpensive.  You can pay a small fee to taste a number of different wines, letting your taste buds decide for you whether the wine you just tasted is a winner or not.  It is also the prime opportunity to ask questions.  Some wineries even offer tours; which allows you to go behind the scene to see how things are really done.

With this wine app, no matter where you are, it takes your location and tells you were all the closest wineries are to you.  From there you can click on the winery, find its location, go to its website, check out hours, etc.  You can even mark wineries off as you go so that when you refer back to your map you can see the ones you’ve traveled to and then those that are still on your list (from the picture - the green pinpoints are the wineries that I've already visited and the red pinpoints are wineries that I have yet to visit).

One of my favorite things to do is to hook up with my girlfriends on a Saturday or Sunday and literally go wine hopping.  Another beauty about going to wineries is that they are fairly close in proximity, the atmosphere is always welcoming, and on a warm spring day–I can’t think of anything better to do.

Over the last few years my girlfriend and I have started bringing the hubby’s along–to transport us– and to also enjoy the beautiful ambiance while sipping on new wine.  This affords our guys a chance to catch up on sports or their personal lives while also spending some great bonding time together with their wives.

You’ll be surprised at all the events that are going on at wineries.  You can have bridal showers, picnics, weddings, or perhaps just hang out on a beautiful day.  Most have special occasion nights where they may do a dance night or a festival of sorts.  There are Limousine services that will transport you and your girls from winery to winery.  The atmosphere is always intimate and for me, it’s on another level than going to a night club, like I feel really grown when I’m popping up at a winery–oh, and if I were you, I’d take advantage of any specialty items they may be selling such as nuts, cheese, jams, etc.

My Tips for Visiting Wineries

Be patient.  Each taster wants their fair share of time while tasting wine.  There can be a number of people trying to taste at once so it’s important to be patient until it’s your turn.

Ask Questions.  This is how you will learn about different wines and the employees love telling stories about their wine.

Take notes.  Each winery will have a list of the wines you will taste that day along with pencils or pens–circle the ones you love–so that at the end of the tasting, if you decide to buy any wines, you’ll know which ones really pulled on your heart-strings! My friends and I have started putting smiley faces on the ones we love, sad faces on ones we don’t love and then a straight face on the wines that are just “ok” to us.  Have fun with it!

Don’t force yourself to like a wine–it takes time.  If there is a wine you don’t like there will be canisters or pitchers in place where you can pour the wine that you don’t like into.  You will not hurt their feelings if you’re not a fan of the wine.  But it will let them know what kind of wine you may like best–which is a good thing!

Clean your palate.  It’s important to clean your palate in between wines especially if you’re going from a sweet to a dry or a red to a white, etc.  Eating the crackers that the winery provide to you will allow you the opportunity to clean your taste buds.

Have lunch.  I cannot stress how important this is.  If you don’t want to get sick I would advise you to eat lunch or put something on your stomach.  You’ll be surprised how quickly wine can catch up to you especially if you’re drinking/tasting all day. If you guys follow these tips, I can assure you that you’ll find a lot of great wines to fall in love with.  This is literally how I’ve been able to grow my collection over the years.  I love going to wineries, falling in love with new wine, and bringing a bottle or three home for later.  I’m sure you will have this same experience. Here’s a secret: most wineries sell their wine glasses or they're free with a tasting, so if you want to build a unique wine glass collection….this is the perfect way to do it. Download the VinoWine app now and start planning which wineries you will visit this Spring, don’t forget to use my tips to help maximize your visit!  I can’t wait to hear your winery stories.

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